We're a hawk on the issues.

David Pakman: “You Don’t have to Worry About This[Drone Warfare], Unless You’re Alive”


David Pakman on his show talked about the implications of the new ruling by the federal appeals court on United States’ secrecy in use of drones in particular situations. These particular situations involve circumstances when drones are used to target and kill Americans when they’re abroad. Obama Administration had generally been dodging this question, saying that the issues of those circumstances are classified. Now, the federal appeals court ordered the Obama Administration to reveal the legal basis for such actions.

Regarding this, David Pakman stated the following:

The government tried to conceal something; they tried to conceal the rationale behind the drone killings in question…. Let’s extrapolate a little bit as we speak. There is something that I could do as an American citizen and there is something in the law that in response to my actions could cause the government – my government – to deliberately kill me, right? And they’re trying to not tell me what that is. They’re trying to tell me both what it is that I might do that would cause that, and they’re trying to avoid telling me what their legal rationale would be, and that is horrifying…. There are some Americans – I don’t want to overstate or understate the case – there are some Americans who would not be opposed to in principle to drone warfare but would want to know what the rules of the game are. What would get you on the radar in terms of  – I’m speaking almost literally here – in terms of a drone strike? And what would the legal basis be that the government would employ to carry out that drone strike? The lack of transparency is…. as much as the problem and you don’t have anything to worry about, right? Unless you live in a country that harbors terrorists or you live in a country with their own terrorists or you live in a country where the US may have once declared war, or a police action, or a revolution, or a peace treaty, or you live outside of the United States, or you live inside of the United States. I guess basically, you don’t have to worry about this unless you are alive.

To translate David’s sarcasm, this is a matter that potentially affects any American citizen, and because the Obama Administration doesn’t appear to be as transparent as it could be about the issue, most Americans don’t know how and whether it’s affecting them. Whether drones should be used for warfare or not isn’t the ultimate question here. Not yet anyway. The first important question is, what would possibly allow the United States government to target and kill its own citizens from afar?

About the author

David Kwon is a freelance writer to Issue Hawk. He's currently a graduate student majoring in social work at New York University, mainly being trained to serve the poor and the homeless.